ORE interview with Bethesda’s Megan and Erik

The following article appeared in the January 2008 issue of the Oblivion’s Real Estate newsletter (a game modding site). Princess Stomper interviews Megan Sawyer and Erik J. Caponi from Bethesda.

Something’s very wrong here. Computer game designers, by all rights, ought to be socially inept nerds – the hellish spawn of Comic Book Guy and Napoleon Dynamite. They surely shouldn’t be like environment artist Megan “Ghostgirl” Sawyer – pretty in a cute, funky sort of way, with a penchant for cool toys and loud music. They certainly shouldn’t be like writer Erik “DoctorSpooky” Caponi – strikingly handsome, with “Vin Diesel’s haircut” and a rock band goatee. He has the highest quality-to-quantity ratio of almost any poster on the Official Forums. Oh yeah, and he makes quests. We’ll start with him.

Erik: I came on pretty late in Oblivion’s development. I got the chance to work on a few of the Settlement Quests as well as various late-stage writing and design tasks. I was one third of the design team for Knights of the Nine and was responsible for a few of the quests as well as the final battle against Umaril’s minions and the battle with his spirit in the sky over Cyrodiil. On Shivering Isles, I was responsible for Retaking The Fringe and Symbols of Office as well as a lot of freeform design. I was also the designer on a couple of the downloadable content packs. Primarily what I do around here is known as “Freeform Gameplay”. I started with it on Shivering Isles and it’s now my full time role on Fallout. What it means is that I’m responsible for gameplay content that isn’t related to quests. This can take the form of incidental dialog, NPC behavior, scripted scenes, town dialog, world encounters, lore, conversation systems, as well as any one of a million different things that might not be tied directly to a particular quest.  Continue reading

Missing Logic: The Road

Despite hating the book so much that I left it on a train so that it would no longer sully my handbag, I willingly watched the film of The Road. I figured the only way it could replicate the book’s irritation factor would be to be. Shot. Entirely. In. Rapid. Jump. Cuts.

It wasn’t.

That’s way too much punctuation for the start of this feature, considering the book has hardly any, but there we go. The book’s b*llocks, so what’s wrong with the film?  Continue reading

Fallout: Nuka Break – The Series

Fallout Nuka Break

When someone says they’ve made a by-fans-for-fans live action web series based on Fallout, my immediate reaction isn’t one of enthusiasm. It’s usually like being asked to watch someone else’s kid in the school nativity play.

Wayside Productions, however, have made something that is … actually pretty good. The sets and special effects are surprisingly professional (and spot-on for the Fallout world) and the acting isn’t bad, either. Fallout: Nuka Break is about on a par with The Guild in terms of quality, so if you like that, you really should give this a view.

Continue reading

PAX

Pikimal just published the following screenshot of Bethesda’s booth at PAX. I felt a flutter of excitement for Fallout: New Vegas, which promises to be excellent, and tinier pangs of glee for Rage and Brink.

Hype is fun!

Bethesda booth at PAX from Pikimal

Bethesda booth at PAX from Pikimal